DESIGNER FOCUS… GABRIELA DE LA BARQUERA
Born and raised in Mexico City, Gabriela has always been fascinated by drawing and design. As she has been hand crafting beautiful fabrics at Vlisco for the past two years, we spoke with her to understand more about her past and her passion for design.
“I was 18 years old when I moved to Europe to study German for a year. For me it was a fun challenge and I found it really exciting to experience something totally new. After this, I went back home to Mexico and studied Industrial Design, but this type of design was too limited and I felt my skills lay elsewhere. It’s then I applied to the famous Design Academy in Eindhoven, Netherlands, specialising in ‘Man & Identity’. I was really excited to return to Europe and loved every minute of it – I graduated in 2009.
During my study at the Design Academy I gained a great deal of knowledge and expertise in textiles, pattern design, styling, interior design, material development, jewellery and fashion photography. I also drew a lot and it quickly became clear this was a key way to express myself.”
MEANT TO BE
“After graduating, I applied for a job at Vlisco and I’ve been working there for two years – it’s beautiful. When I started I was very excited and realised early on that it was really meant to be. I feel like it’s my home, my family, each member has a reason to be here. In Mexico we say: the meat belongs to the sauce it swims in.
I have two ways of drawing. One is very detailed and with shadow and depth. The other one is bolder. Now I’m testing the mix of both techniques, as I did for the ‘bow design’ of this season.
The design started with a big oval shape, which I imagined as a mirror. For the background I wanted to use a bold technique, and just like a muse on a stage, not all the elements could be the main character. The leading role is the bow, the other one is holding the decor and the rest is there because they are important, but they don’t compete. They only dance around each other. The centre of the design is detailed, with thin lines that help create some depth, light and volume.
I’m very fascinated by details from daily life. I like the use of colour, I like feminine motives, contrasts and humorous twists or surprising details in visuals. I continually build up my own inspirational mood-board. It’s constant food for creativity, with any element becoming a starting point for an exciting story in design.
I’m looking forward to the moment I see how our designs are understood, re-interpreted and reshaped in Africa. I’m ready to be surprised and learn more.”
View more of Gabriela’s designs here!